Harry Wong
Dec 2017
Vol 14 No 4

Quiz: Are you a Subjective or Objective Grader?

By Jennifer Davis Bowman Ed.D.

As educators, much of our time is spent assessing student needs. Before we can truly help our students, an understanding of our own learning is key.

Are you ready to see if you are a subjective or objective grader? You may take the brief quiz below by answering yes or no to the 5 questions listed.

1. Do you boost students grades if they work hard and behave well in class?

2. Do students prefer that teachers use individual (circumstantial information) when

3. Do teachers replicate grading practices they experienced when they were students?

4. Can teachers strike a balance between subjective and objective grading?

5. There are many debates surrounding effective grading and grading approaches. Can grading issues impact more than just students?

Spoiler Alert: Exploring Your Results

This quiz was developed in response to 3 articles (listed below in the references). If you answered “yes” to most of the questions, your grading style is closely related to the material reported in the articles. If you answered more questions with “no”, take a look at the answer explanations below.

Answer Explanations

1. Research shows that in addition to achievement, teachers consider effort and behavior when grading. Grey areas (these may include attitude, improvement and participation) are reported to impact a student’s grade.

2. High ability students prefer grades based on merit, whereas less able students prefer grades based on individual characteristics and situations.

3. When training and practice of effective grade procedure implementation does not occur, teachers utilize strategies that they experienced when they were students.

4. It is useful to employ steps such as determining the percentage that subjectivity will count towards the final grade, defining subjective categories (such as the number of times the student is expected to participate, the number of times the student brings needed materials for class work etc.) and tracking student progress with subjective grading measures.

5. Grading issues impact teachers as well as students. The overall impact is known as the “grading divide”. Teachers need to defend their grading choices and justify subjective grading due to standards-driven system.

Gordon, E.M., & Fay, C.H. (2010). The effects of grading and teaching practices on student’s perceptions of grading fairness. College Teaching, 58, 93-98.

Randall, J., & Engelhard, G. (2010). Examining the grading practices of teachers. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26, 1372-1380.

Stitt, J.L., & Pula, J.J. (2014). Voting fir subjectivity: Adding some gray areas to black-and-white, objective grading practices. The Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, 24-27.

If you are interested in taking last month’s quiz, you can find it here!

Jennifer Davis BowmanAbout the author
Dr. Jennifer Davis Bowman serves as an adjunct professor for education and psychology courses in Ohio.

To connect with her visit her blog or follow her on Pinterest.



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This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 and is filed under *ISSUES, Jennifer Davis Bowman Ed.D., July 2015. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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